Thursday, January 8, 2015
I was reading in 1 Peter, Chapter 4 this morning and I came across some great advice it would serve us well to follow in this new year. Among other things, Peter wrote that we should endeavor to be clear minded and self controlled so that when we pray we can do it more effectively. (vs 7) It is obviously not wise to lift up our prayers to God when we’ve got other things on our mind. That is one reason the apostle Paul also wrote that when he prayed, it was in the Spirit but also with his understanding. (See 1 Cor. 14:15) Peter also advised us to be hospitable and not to grumble. (vs 9) Some people we know have a reputation for being negative-minded, continual complainers. That can never be a good testimony for Christ and I’m glad none of you are like that. You aren’t, right?
Here’s some more good advice and reminder as well: We should all use the specific gift, or gifts, God has given us to faithfully serve others. (vs 10) We must never forget that anything we have ever received from God did not come our way by luck or chance. If He gave it to us it is because He wants us to use it for our benefit, as well as for the benefit of others. Then he added that when we do serve, we should do so with the strength God provides. (vs 11) To me, this simply means that when we do serve, we should be in continual contact with God’s Spirit, very much aware that without His help and leading whatever we do will be fruitless.
But the one verse that stood out more prominently in this chapter was verse 8 where he wrote: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” If you have never asked God in prayer to help you love others like He loves them, perhaps this will be the perfect time to do so. This verse immediately reminds us that when we truly love others, we overlook any offence they may have committed against us. When we love others, we won’t have a sour disposition or negative view about life in general. Then we will be good testimonies and examples of the love of God. When we love sincerely, we won’t hold a grudge and we will forgive those whose release is way overdue. I heard a lady yesterday confess that she finally forgave her mother after twenty five years of denying her the forgiveness she should have received from the onset. If by chance, there should be one or two readers of today’s blog who fall into this category, I plead with you to ask the Lord today to give you His kind of love. When you do, you yourself will be released from your self-made prison and your new year will be off to a great start.
Memory verse for the week: (1 John 2:28) “And now, little children, abide in Him; that, when He shall appear , we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at his coming.”